HefeWeizen | Live Oak Brewing Company

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HefeWeizenHefeWeizen
BA SCORE
4.35/5
Outstanding
1,696 Ratings
HefeWeizenHefeWeizen
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States
liveoakbrewing.com

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Modeled after the classic wheat beers of Bavaria, Hefeweizen is cloudy and straw-colored with a meringue-like head that lingers to the bottom of the glass. Brewed with an ample volume of wheat malt and few hops, this beer features a unique yeast strain that produces harmonious notes of clove, banana, and vanilla throughout this effervescent brew. A traditional interpretation of a classic style, this idiosyncratic Bavarian beer is perfectly at home here in Texas.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-07-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#380
Reviews:
473
Ratings:
1,696
pDev:
9.43%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
796
Gots:
276
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,696 |  Reviews: 473
Reviews by UGADawgGuy:
Photo of UGADawgGuy
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After dreaming of tasting the only hefeweizen rated higher than my all-time favorite beer (Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier), I accepted the extraordinarily generous goatgoat's offer to ship me a growler of Live Oak Hefeweizen in return for some local beers. It was worth the wait, and I now owe goatgoat something equally majestic in return.

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange-ish gold in body, with a beautiful three-finger head of off-white foam. Lacing is substantial throughout drinking. This stuff looks exactly the way a hefeweizen should -- there's no watery soapiness, as is found in many American wheat beers.

Smell: Sweet, sweet banana, yeasty bread, and cloves, with a honey-ish undercurrent and a hint of wheaty twang. The aroma of this beer is quite complex (and spot-on for the style), but it's rather subdued and understated. Still, a whiff of this entices the senses and demands that I take a big sip immediately.

Taste: Unbelievably good. Cloves and wholesome banana bread, in beautiful harmony with yeast. I also pick up a substantial vanilla component to the flavor -- something I've never experienced in a hefeweizen, but it fits very well with the rest of the flavor components. There is no evidence of the metallic element present in many hefeweizens, and only the mildest hint of funky wheaty sourness can be found. Alcohol and hops are undetectable, as they should be in a traditional German-style hefeweizen. I still think Weihenstephaner brews the classic example of the style, but this one has a flavor all its own and is still almost perfect. In fact -- and this is near-blasphemy for me -- I think Live Oak's hefeweizen has more character than Weihenstephaner's, and I suspect that its flavor may vary somewhat from batch to batch (whereas Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier tastes the same year after year). At any rate...this Live Oak is awesome, awesome, awesome.

Mouthfeel: While refreshingly brisk in carbonation, Live Oak hefeweizen somehow retains a full, creamy mouthfeel the likes of which I've rarely -- maybe never -- experienced in a wheat beer. This mouthfeel only enhances the wholesome banana- and bread-like characteristics of the beer's smell and flavor, adding up to a mind-bogglingly great drinking experience. Each sip fills the mouth and glides down the throat like meringue.

Drinkability: I would LOVE to drink this on a Texan summer day. Incredibly thirst-quenching and refreshing, yet substantial and satisfying, this may be the ultimate hot-weather beer. (As it happens, I'm drinking it in early March in Atlanta, where it's currently 38 degrees outside...my next quest may be for Live Oak's possibly retired weizenbock.) I assume that the ABV is quite low -- about 5% would be average for the style -- and this only enhances the beer's drinkability. I may attempt to put away this whole growler over the next several hours, and I think I can do so without adverse consequences. This is a testament to the beer's overwhelmingly appealing flavor and drinkability, both of which are enhanced by the low ABV.

In pondering this beer's quality (and its high rating on this site), something occurred to me: every hefeweizen I've ever had on tap has benefitted greatly from that serving type. Maybe it's because the yeast is constantly stirred up when the beer's served that way, and maybe there are other factors, but it's apparent to me that every hefeweizen tastes noticeably better on tap than poured from the bottle.

With that in mind, I can't help but wonder if Live Oak hefeweizen would still be this good if they bottled it and shipped it out...I guess we may never know. But it bears mentioning that perhaps the reason for Live Oak hefeweizen's legendary quality lies in the fact that it is ONLY available on tap, and it therefore reaps the benefits of that serving style. I'd like to try this side-by-side with freshly-tapped Weihenstephaner, and then I'd like to try a bottle of this (if such a thing existed) side-by-side with a bottle of Weihenstephaner. I don't know which beer would win.

Regardless, in its present form, this is America's greatest hefeweizen. An extraordinary brew, it truly lives up to the hype. Worth trading for -- and probably worth a trip to Texas.

 4,232 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of dorisfunkasaurus
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfect example of the style and the best American Hefeweizen. Possibly the best American take on a German style period. Aromatic and perfectly balanced banana and clove notes. I routinely make a 4 hour trek to Texas just to have this on tap.

 242 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Cuvee Coffee in Austin.

Served in a nonic pint.

Cloudy golden body with a brown hue. Surging carbonation. Persistent pale white head that becomes a film over the body. 5

Banana and clove dominate the nose with a touch of sweetness. Wheat is apparent too. 4.25

Surprised by how pronounced the clove flavor is here. Banana follows and a nutty, sweet malt flavor emerges. Vanilla on the finish is an excellent contribution. 4.25

Medium-body, some spice from the clove, medium carbonation that bubbles more on the finish, and a lingering dry feel. 4.25

Very good brew. Drinks well at breakfast post coffee.

 620 characters

Photo of rabbott2
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Banger's in Austin on 6/9/2016

L-bright yellow, small thin head
S-wheat, banana, cloves
T-zesty lemon, wheat, bready banana
F-drinkable but heavier
O-i don't love this style but since it's so well done for it's style, I upped the ratings to be more relative. Best in class for sure and I would enjoy this again if available, but i just don't can't get to love this style

 384 characters

Photo of rypkr
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Arguably over carbonated and thin body. Good but nowhere near weihenstephaner good nor even as good as several other lesser esteemed offerings out there. 4/5 overall.

5-26-17 bumped look from 3.75 to 4.25.

 206 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

32 fl oz howler sealed with pressured growler cap.

poured into wheat beer glass.

Appearance: Light straw yellow body with thick bone white head.

Smell: Biscuit / bread malts. Light hint of banana and clove. Lager yeast.

Taste: Flavorful, balanced, and complex. Bready and biscuit malt. Lager yeast forward. Banana, clove, and bubblegum. Light hint of earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The drinkablility is off the charts. Creamy carbonation and a light snappy finish. Very refreshing.

Overall: Hefeweizen is a beer style that I have only found New Glarus to brew well and I really haven't found many Hefeweizen's that are truly spectacular. This beer has really high scores and I honestly did not think that it would be as good as the ratings say it is. Well, I am here to say that this is the best Hefeweizen that is brewed in the USA. This exceeded expectations and has me wanting to get another growler of this Live Oak beer. The fact that the banana and clove are extremely well balanced and completely dialed in are what makes the beer shine. I have always homered on New Glarus Hefeweizen's and this beer is clearly far superior to all of the New Glarus Hefeweizens.

 1,219 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can, served in an hefeweizen glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden-darker yellow body, two finger white head, good retention, medium collar, not much lacing. Smells of bubble gum, clove, banana esters, wheat, light caramel, grainy sweetness. Smells like a sharp hefeweizen, not as well rounded as some of its best German counterparts, but it's unmistakably an hefe. Flavour is fairly authentic hefeweizen; dominant banana esters, clove, touch of bubble gum, grainy wheat, light grassy bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and almost a tad bit creamy, good carbonation, super easy to drink. Overall, a very good hefeweizen; it's sort of like a more balanced version of most American hefeweizens which tend to be hopped up. This is balanced and seems to taste more authentic although I am not doing this blind with Weihenstephaner or Franziskaner, of course. That may be an experiment to do later on.

 927 characters

Photo of zander4dawin
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden beer. Light ripe banana notes and bubblegum with heavy clove and spicy tastes. Refreshing mouthfeel and easy drinking brew. Only found on draft :(

 164 characters

Photo of legalag11
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Draught House in Austin, TX in a nonic glass and at the Alamo Draft House on Lamar in several pint glasses.

Pours a hazed yellow cake color, on the lighter side of many hefes with a healthy white head that comes in just a touch too light and bubbly for me. I like the head on my Hefes a little more sticky, then again, this could be the result of poor glass choice at both locations I drank this.

Aroma is fresh and clean but lighter than I would like. Banana notes are moderate but spice notes, particularly cloves, are very light. A more generic fruity yeastiness is more pronounce.

Taste is also on the light side flavor wise. Banana and touches of spice mixed with a general breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Light, clean, fresh, crisp (I know that is weird in a Hefe but this one is), and airy.

Drinkability: Out of the ballpark. This beer has absolutely no negative traits, no off-flavors, no adjuncts. It is remarkably clean an refined, especially for an American brewery. Add those qualities to its refreshingly light body and you have a real winner in this category. This is an ideal sometime session beer.

Overall, I am mildly disappointed in Live Oak Hefe for a couple of reasons. Naturally, I have held this beer on a high pedestal, perhaps higher than I ought to have, since I have sought it out for so long. Still, I can't help but find this beer a touch dull . It's a great beer, and certainly an A but it's no A+ in my book and doesn't quite hold water when placed side-by-side a few other American Hefes like Dancing Man Wheat from New Glarus. Excellent but not quite all it's hyped up to be.

 1,619 characters

Photo of TxHopHead4
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of brownbeer
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sort of a hazy lemon juice yellow color with a thick white head that's not afraid to hang out a while.

Slightly musty, phenolic cloves, banana, and a touch of lemon and bubblegum.

The taste is that of a classic German hefe. Fresh ripe banana pudding with a hint of nilla wafer. Light spice and bubblegum as it warms. Not particularly engaging, but without flaws at the same time. It can grow on you though, as it's very smooth and creamy. Making it pretty fun to drink and a solid session beer. Tasted next to the Weihenstephaner they are very similar. For that reason I wouldn't go out of my way to get it, but I am glad I got to try it. There are some random thoughts for ya.

 679 characters

Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy golden with a nice white head on top. The smell on this very nice-very citrus and spice but has a little medicianl quality to it. Taste is very spcy with the cloves hitting you upfront and the banan and bubble gum flavors coming strong after the spice. Finishes clean with more spice flavor and lemon like citrus. Feels very full in the mouth-not as thin as other hefeweizens. So drinkable especially on a hot Texas day.

I've had this beer many times as I live in Austin. I feel lucky to have it so available it. Going to the Live Oak brewery is a good time as Chip the owner/brewer feels very strongly about traditional flavors especially in his hefe. Great beer and great brewery!

 697 characters

Photo of GameOfBeers
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of Clonies720
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ben7773
3/5  rDev -31%

Photo of newk340
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to johnsaulrubio for hooking us up here in wisconsin with a growler. Shared with hu5om in Franziskaner Weizen glasses.

A: gorgeous yellow at bottom with a lazy orange at the top while hazy throughout. a fluffy off-white head tops the pour with incredible retention.

S: yeasty throughout with hints of wheat and bananas interspersed.

T: smooth flavors of wheat, banana, and cloves dance on the tongue ever so briefly before disappearing into a fizzle of yeast. spices leave a lingering aftertaste.

MF/D: an initial sizzle on the tongue that dissipates to a smooth cascade down the throat, a light feeling of foam remains on the lips. the growler went down way too easily between 2 people...

 700 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got a growler of this one as I've been dying to try it for awhile. Pours into my glass a hazy sunshine/straw yellow that's quite vibrant. A big inch head of creamy meringue white foam sticks to the top and has great staying power with sticky sheets of lacing as it slowly falls. Aromas begin with crisp wheat malt notes that are immediately engulfed in yeasty esters. Huge banana and clove lead the way with a spicy undertone and hints of bubblegum as well. Bold and fresh, the aroma is intoxicating. The yeast esters explode out of the glass...I can't find a thing wrong with this aroma :-)

First sip brings a smooth, crisp wheat malt upfront that leads into flavors of banana and clove. More light fruity notes move in along with a peppery spice. As it moves down the bubblegum comes out along with a touch of lemon zest and vanilla as well. There's a nice overall sweetness, but it is well placed. It finishes with a smooth yeasty kick that leaves a banana/spice aftertaste. Crisp with an enchanting flavor profile, I can't find any flaws in this brew. One of the best hefeweizens I've sampled without a doubt.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth creaminess imparted by the malt. Flows down with carbonation that is more towards the mellow side. This brew is extremely drinkable and makes for quite a session beer. Those of you who have regular access to this beer should consider yourselves very lucky, as this is the best American brewed hefeweizen I have ever tasted. Cheers to Live Oak for creating a brew that rivals its German counterparts and many thanks to JDV for supplying me with this tasty treat that I hope to have again.

 1,652 characters

Photo of lateralundertow
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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HefeWeizen from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 1,696 ratings